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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 20, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm GMT

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pfft": current and former officials who we re current and former officials who were in senior positions at multiple at the time of the call agencies at the time of the call spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters and that officials began poring over intelligence reports, intercepted communications and diplomatic in february this year the new york times reported the name of a citizen who i will not use or discussed sanctions with the russian official ina sanctions with the russian official in a phone call, according to officials who have seen a russian officials who have seen a transcript of the wiretapped conversation. and again in february of this year, the new york times reported on a phone call involving a us citizen, including significant discussions of phone records, intercepted calls, intercepted
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communications and reported - nsa communications and reported the nsa captured calls and then asked the i gm fbi to collect as much information as possible. my time is up, but i will say this for this around. i zit 1 it was against the law te thought it was against the law to disseminate classified information. is it? fl disseminate classified information. isi 7 e disseminate classified information. is it? g yes, it disseminate classified information. is it? et: . disseminate classified information. is it? if yes, it is a serious is it? oh, yes, it is a serious crime. i will not comment on those particular i do want particular articles. i do not want to compound a criminal act by confirming i was classified confirming it was classified information, but, in general, yes, information, but, ingenetaltyer, it isa information, but, ingenetaltyer, it is a serious crime and it4s a serious crime anditshfluld itj's re serious crime endrrit'sheulet we itr’s re serious crime enditshoulct we will take it; in the itr’s re serious crime enditshoulct mr chairman. we have 15 round, mr chairman. we have 15 minutes. i want to begin by attempting to put to rest claims made by the president put about his
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%e,4,:, liz: el—e, fif;?lezffifié a: e 2,577.5: e li's ifii that barack predecessor, namely that barack obama wiretapped his 50 obama wiretapped his telephones. so we can be precise about what the president said, we ask you if there was any truth to it. first the p resident was any truth to it. first the president claimed, quote, terrible, just found out that barack obama had my wiretapped in trump towerjust before the victory. nothing found, this is mccarthyism. unquote. was the statement that barack obama had the eteéeeee-e!’ the? pee—eels “her-n: lees! , his wiretapped the eteteh-teh? the? pee—eels “her-n: he? , his wiretapped in - towerl true his wiretagged in trumg tower a trug - with respect to the statement? with respect to the i have no information that tweets, i have no information that supports these tweets and we have looked inside the fbi. supports these tweets and we have looked - inside the fbi. the looked carefully inside the fbi. the answer is the same fer the "' " " justice shswer is the same fer the’ "' " " justice in all its the has no components. the department has no information that supports those components. the department has no informa the that supports those components. the department has no informa the president nrts those components. the department has no informa the president accused a components. the department has no informa the president accused barack tweets. the president accused barack obama and the fbi of in obama and the fbi of engaging in mccarthyism. as you understand the
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term mccarthyism, do you think that president obama or the fbi was engaged in such conduct?|j president obama or the fbi was engaged in such conduct? i will not try and characterise the tweets themselves. all we can say is we have no information that supports them. were you engaged in have no information that supports them. were y i engaged in have no information that supports them. were y1| er very d in have no information that supports them. were y i er very hard not to mccarthyism? i try very hard not to engage in any isms of any kind, especially mccarthyism. director would it be legal for komi, would it be legalfor president obama to have ordered a wiretap on donald trump?|j president obama to have ordered a wiretap on donald trump? i will not characterise a response to the themselves. i can tell you in tweets themselves. i can tell you in general there is a statutory in the united states under framework in the united states under which courts grant permission for a
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laconic surveillance, either in a criminal case or a national security cares, based on a probable cause and it is carefully overseen and it is a rigorous it is carefully overseen and it is a i’igoi’ous process it is carefully overseen and it is a rigorous process and it is one we have lived with since the late 19705. that have lived with since the late 1970s. that is how it works. no individual in the united states can direct electronic surveillance of anyone, it has to go through an application process and a judge can make the order. so president obama could not unilaterally have ordered a wiretap of anyone? no president a wiretap of anyone? e3: serge-r mrtrump also a wiretap of anyone? e3: serge-r mr trump also asserted in could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = tweet that the application or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = ordert that the application or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = order was t the application or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = order was turned )plication or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = order was turned down ion or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = order was turned down by or could. mrtrumesies sssertss ifi = order was turned down by a ir the order was turned down by a court. was there any request made by the fbi orjustice degcjjif to the fbi orjustice department to wiretap donald trump turned down by wiretap donald trump turned'dswn—by—l a court? it is one of those subjects i cannot comment on one way or another. , i cannot comment on one way or another; please ! i cannot comment on one way or m please do not
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i cannot comment on one way or another; please do not interpret another. please do not interpret that in any way or another, but i cannot comment on anything that ceeeeefie ee—eeeel—‘ee sees — relates to the process in an urban setting. i bet they could make a case at the fact that great case at the fact that president obama was wiretapping might telephones. did he wiretap trump's phones prior to the donald trump's phones prior to the election the light of the fact you said there was no evidence? we have i'io said there was no evidence? we have no information that supports those tweets. in my view it would not be an unethical lawyer to make it such an unethical lawyer to make it such a the an unethical lawyer to make it such a - the president made the a case. the president made the accusation, how low has he gone to tap my phones during the sacred election process? this is nixon glee-2,521); - election process? this is nixon glee-2,521); ai election process? this is nixon testegste a bad or sick guy. he has watergate, a bad or sick guy. he has w watergate, a bad or sick guy. he has he sis-leis barack watergate, a bad or sick guy. he has 2:2“34‘ barack obama to watergate, a bad or sick guy. he has zzgemfg barack obama to nixon watergate, a bad or sick guy. he has wecesgeg barack obama to nixon and compared barack obama to nixon and compared barack obama to nixon and compare the wiretapping as another watergate. what was the gravity of
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the offence by nixon during watergate? a lot of people watching will be too young to understand what that was about. what was the gravity of that - as i recall it i of that offence? as i recall it i was a kid, but i studied it at school and it was an abuse of power, including break ins, unlawful wiretapping ofjustice, including break ins, unlawful wiretapping of justice, a including break ins, unlawful wiretapping ofjustice, a cycle of criminal conduct. it was a break-in of the democratic headquarters by operatives of. president? that is operatives of the president? that is my understanding of how it began. operatives of the president? that is my understanding of how it beganm also involved a cover—up by the president. yes, as i said. you have said there has been no evidence of an illegal wiretap by president obama. is that right? the fbi and the department of justice obama. is that right? the fbi and the department ofjustice have no information to support those tweets. is there evidence of a break—in of
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democratic headquarters by a the democratic headquarters by a foreign power using cyber means? - - -. , -,.| there was, as the intelligence yes, there was, as the intelligence reports. in january the community reports. in january the russian intelligence services hacked an numberof russian intelligence services hacked an number of enterprises in the intoen—ndmberofhenterpriser'rnfie states, including the united states, including the democratic national committee. there was an effort by the russians to cover up was an effort by the russians to cover up their break—in of "e " " cover up their break—in of the democratic party headquarters by demecrstus ésrtg hesdgusrters fig cutouts like wikileaks to using cutouts like wikileaks to publish the stolen material? publish the stolen materialz... to cover up that - were certainly to cover up that they were the ones releasing it. director certainly to cover up that they were the one: in zleasing it. director certainly to cover up that they were the one: in an sing it. director certainly to cover up that they were the one: in an effort :. director certainly to cover up that they were the one: in an effort to )irector certainly to cover up that they were the one1 in an effort to explain rogers, in an effort to explain there was no evidence to claim that barack obama had wiretap, sean spicer suggested that british intelligence through gchq wiretapped spicer suggested that british intellig trump rough gchq wiretapped spicer suggested that british intellig trump and h gchq wiretapped spicer suggested that british intellig trump and president retapped spicer suggested that british intellig trump and president obama's donald trump and president obama's behalf. did you have a request that your counterparts in gchq should gour countergsrtsinfifiig shout;
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donald trump on behalf of wiretap donald trump on behalf of president obama? no, sir, that would be expressly against the agreement that has been in place for decades. and it is on behalf of some of our closest allies and britain is one of them? yes, sir. my view is the same, i have seen nothing on the nsa side that we engaged in any activity, not that we engaged in any activity, not that anyone ever asked us to engage in any such activity. if you are asked to spy on an american, that would be a violation of us law? yes, sir. our relation with british intelligence is one of the closest "frrany intelligence is one of the closest ii; any other intelligence is one of the closest jj; any otherforeign intelligence is one of the closest g ' ' g intelligence is one of the closest g any other foreign service? is with any other foreign service?m that true? yes, sir. they suggested that true? yes, sir. they suggested that they wiretapped him for barack that they wiretapped himfor barack.- obama. does it
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that they wirehapped himfor barack.- obama. does it do damage with a relationship with one of our closest relationship with one otour’closest to make a claim that the partners to make a claim that the british in a conspiracy british participated in a conspiracy against him? it clearly frustrates a key ally of hours. it would not endear the british intelligence services to continue working with us, would it? i believe the relationship is strong enough that this is something we can deal with. it is not helpful. yes. president donald trump recently met with angela merkel and he suggested they both had something in common, that angela merkel and he suggested they both had both ething in common, that angela merkel and he suggested they both had both been in common, that angela merkel and he suggested they both had both been eiretanaed by 1at they had both been wiretapped by barack obama. they had both been wiretapped by ba rack obama. directed they had both been wiretapped by barack obama. directed comey has just demonstrated that there was no evidence. but the claim he made about wiretapping directed at angela merkel was something that came up in the context of disclosures. i am not
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going to ask you whether the chancellor was the subject of eavesdropping, but i would like to ,if eavesdropping, but i would like to if th's disclosure eavesdropping, but i would like to we disclosure did damage to ask if this disclosure did damage to our relationship with our german ally and the ally and whether the chancellor herself expressed displeasure at the time. yes, sir. is it helpful to our relationship with the chancellor and intelligence to bring this german intelligence to bring this up again ina german intelligence to bring this up again in a public forum? g again in a public forum? it complicates things, but i would like to think that our relationship is such that we would be able to deal with it. our relationships with the british and the germans you hope i strong enough to withstand any damage done by these comments? we need to keep working - this need to keep working together. this time, let me ask you a few questions you may not be able to answer, director comey. do you know who ww rogerstone i generally, - are
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rogerstone is? generally, yes. are you aware that he was a pioneer of munford? we are going to a paul munford? we are going to a place i do not want to go on, which izs place i do not want to go on, which is on a particular is commenting on a particular person. i know about public accounts, but i cannot talk about any more than that ulster are you that he has publicly aware that he has publicly acknowledged having directly communicated with somebody who was in russian intelligence? i have read media counter to that effect, but i do not know whether that is correct or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr podesta's time was coming in august or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, 5 time was coming in august or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, would was coming in august or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, would that coming in august or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, would that have 1g in august or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, would that have been \ugust or not. if mr stone acknowledged mr pt 2016, would that have been priort of 2016, would that have been prior. the release of of 2016, would that have been prior. the - release of stolen to the public release of stolen e—mails of his? to the public release of stolen e-mails of his? i believe that is
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e-mails of hiquielietcejhath correct chronology. do you know the correct chronology. do you know how mr stone would have known that mr podesta's e—mails would have been released? it is not something i can comment on. do you know that mr podesta said at the time he was not aware that his e—mails would be published? it is not something i can comment. at this point, mr comment on. at this point, mr chairman, i comment on. at this point, mr chairman, lam comment on. at this point, mr chairman, i am going to ask someone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank am going to ask someone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank you going to ask someone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank you for|g to ask someone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank you for being sk someone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank you for being with imeone comment on. at this point, mr chair thank you for being with us zone else. thank you for being with us today. let me gig with a else. thank you for being with us today. let me 53; with a point today. let me start with a point that the chairman brought out very specifically, which is that there is no evidence that votes were technically changed in any of the jurisdictions that he named. thank you for confirming - am i you for confirming that. am i correct that when we say russian
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fracking what we are referring to is the fact the intelligence community believes that the russians penetrated the networks of the dnc, ofjohn podesta and other individuals, stole information and then disseminated that information? is that fair characterisation of the conclusions of intelligence community? yes, sir. did the intelligence 122271? 7 . community? yes, sir. did the intelligence 122271? did —~ community? yes, sir. did the intelligence did an = intelligence community did an analysis as to whether the dissemination of that adverse a 7} gm"... ., dissemination of that adverse reseeeesiee in a dissemination of that adverse we“ in a closeiy% dissemination of that adverse hyzihg in a closely fought information in a closely fought election had any effect on the american electorate? no, sir we do not do assessments. that is not your job. those of us who go through campaigns “has job. those of us who go through campaigns if that job. those of us who go through campaigns “has that is job. those of us who go through campaigns if that is something we campaigns know that is something we probably have a little bit more understanding of. let me ask this question. was there any equivalent dissemination of adverse information stolen from the rnc or individuals associated with the donald trump campaign? no. thank
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